Developing and documenting a qualitative methodology


Brigid Reid 98 St Mary s Road, Oxford OX4 1QD England


Using an ethnographic approach, the phenomenon of the routine of ‘doing the obs' (nursing observations of vital signs) was examined with particular reference made to its rationale This involved a period of fieldwork in a ward which consisted of non-participant observation of the nurses at work and short interviews with them The experience of the study raised awareness of the research process for the researcher and is explored in detail in this article The dissemination of such an account offers valuable insight for future researchers and occupies a vital role in determining the validity and reliability of qualitative work